Should I disassemble and clean my engine?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Should I disassemble and clean my engine?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 06:31 pm:

Hi again all,

Recently got my 1927 T engine to turn over after 60-70 years of sitting!

I notice aloooottttt of sludge on the outside of the engine and the valves are quite dirty. I would also like to repaint the engine in black or maybe the original blue color in came in?

My question is, should I take it all apart the engine and clean it? The transmission has to be taken apart anyways because the pedals are pretty much stuck... Or just leave it and let all the stuff burn off? A few valves are still stuck from gunk.

Thanks guys!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Putnam, Bluffton, Ohio on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 07:08 pm:

Open it up and clean it. You will be surprised at the problems you may find.
Blue was never an original engine color.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 07:27 pm:

Oops, sorry, looked it up I meant that olive green! Looks better than I thought now that I see it...

How do I take it apart? This is the first engine Ive ever handled... Just one part at a time?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Codman on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 07:59 pm:

I might go as far as pulling the head, but since you already know that the valves are quite dirty - I guess that you already have. If the cylinder bores don't look too bad, I'd put the head back on, change the oil, and fire her up. What do you have to lose? I fired up a '28 Olds that had been sitting in a field for more then 30 years and drove it 60+ miles home with no problems.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 08:14 pm:

The head is off so grind the valves while they're exposed. Check the bores and make sure everything in there moves as it should then button it up again. Consider throwing ten bucks worth of new Autolite plugs on there. Drain the oil, check for chunks in it. Pull the bottom inspection cover and look up into the crank case to confirm it doesn't look awful in there then button that up. Pull the transmission cover and poke around in there and DON'T DROP ANYTHING! Button up the Trans again. Replenish oil. Remove, clean, inspect, and reinstall carb. Replace all wires with new, nothing fancy just not trash.

Assuming there isn't anything broken a clean, inspect, and reassemble shouldn't take too long. Set timing, put in fresh gas and light it up!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 08:50 pm:

If it was mine I'd pull the engine, tear it down and see what I had, but if you aren't going to remove it from the car then at least check everything you can. You potentially have a LOT to lose just firing it up.... you may be fine for a short time, or for a long time, but it can be very costly not to know where you're at.

The problem with tearing it down is you WILL find things that are worn and out of tolerance, that according to any repair manual should be addressed. That can get very expensive very fast. But you can choose to ignore some of those things and reassembly it with some slightly sloppy tolerances, particularly if you know this engine was running. There are a few things you should not ignore if you find them, such as cracked transmission drums, flywheel too close to the magneto coil, or a clogged oil line.


You said you were going to pull the transmission cover anyway, so you'll get some hints that way. Visually inspect everything you can see carefully.

As a minimum, also pull the bottom pan and check the main bearing and rod bearing clearances, and the crankshaft end play. While you have the rod journals exposed used a micrometer and check that they are round. Check the condition of all of the the babbit you expose, and see if there are shims in the connecting rods. If the crankshaft end play is excessive then the flywheel can move to close to the magneto coil ring (if it is running and makes contact you've got big, expensive problems). If it moves too far away your magneto won't work. Your car can run on battery so too much is not fatal, but you won't get the performance you would with a good mag.

You already have the head off and said you have some valves that are sticking. Remove the valves and lap them. If they are the two part style you should replace them, as they can come apart and damage your pistons and cylinders.

If you have the ability to re-center it, pull the front cover off and make sure the oil line is not clogged. You need that open so you get oil to the front main and rods.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Vern (Vieux Carre) on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 10:05 pm:

It can be a lot of fun just digging into an engine. But I recommend the MTFCA book: "Repairing and Restoring the Model T Ford ~ The Engine"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Hand on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 07:59 am:

I would pull the head, inspect the valves, maybe remove ,clean and lap them. New valves will need to have the stems ground for clearance, so do not mix up positions, clean the excess carbon from the tops of the pistons and any part of the combustion chambers, clean the coolant passages of the cylinder head of rust and crud, oil up the valve stems and cylinders. pull off the crankcase inspection cover clean and squirt oil up of the wrist pins and bearings. Then pull the transmission access door and oil up all you can see with an oil can. Also keep a look out to see if MICKEY and his pals have set up house keeping in the past, if so that may be a game changer as far a start up is concerned.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Schreiber- Santa Isabel Ecuador on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 08:46 am:

I believe this is an engine he found stuck in the ground on a newly acquired property and it may need more than he realizes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 09:19 am:

To see the correct engine color for 1927 look at the cutaway engine about halfway down this page:

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/708324/788443.html?1505532615


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 09:39 am:

If it was in the ground in Lancaster NH it was so far north it is almost at the north pole and seen a bit of cold wet weather.

The motor might be free but I would be concerned about cracks due to freezing and would wonder why it was discarded in the first place.

It might turney turn, but have a big broken thingey inside. :-)

PS I'm making great progress at learning the technical jargon needed to be a real "T" man!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 12:22 pm:

Wooowwww so many replies.

Ok. So first of all...

The engine was used as a wood splitter back in the 60s. I THINK it was in the barn for most of the time since then, as I found a coil point laying right be the doors like it was dropped from the coils when being moved outside. The barn was filled with stuff from the people before so I am thinking they might have moved the engine outside to put stuff in there like 10 years ago.

The engine is sitting below some trees, had a hood on it, and also had a tarp.

If I got it to turn over somewhat easily, Id say its in decent shape. Ive heard of ones stored in barns that have been in oil for years and never broke free. The wood is in decent shape, not rotted completely so again, Id say it was only put out recently.

-----

I talked with a member on here last night, and we both decided that I should really take it apart. You never know as some of you might said might be broken. Ive got to take a lot apart anyways to degrease and paint, so why not just take it all apart?

The head is off right now, well its sitting on it but unbolted right now.

I don't SEE any cracks yet... Theres a lot of grease covering the block though. Luckily people seem to have lots of spare parts for engines. The whole thing has got to be flushed out.. Theres lots of leaves and stuff. Right now its still outside, I have to get help lifting it out its pretty heavy.

I don't really want to risk starting it right now, theres no gas tank, all the rubber hoses are cracked, fan belt loose, who knows what in the oil pan, no radiator, and so on.

My original thought for the paint was to paint it matte black, however I have also thought about painting it the original olive. It will be going in a 1925 speedster. Not too worried about paint right now, that comes later on.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 12:44 pm:

Good to hear you're going to tear it down and go through it, that's definitely best. I didn't realize it was out of the car when I gave my laundry list above..... since it's already out of a vehicle there's no reason not to tear it down, and you'll learn a LOT just going through it.

Have fun!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 01:13 pm:

You should start the engine up before a complete tear-down to see if that is even necessary. Model T engines are incredibly tough. You only need to do three things.

1, Take the head off (which you have) to check the condition of the cylinders and valves.

2, pull the inspection cover off the pan, along with the two-piece ring inside the pan that the cover bolts to. Carefully reach up and scoop out all the sludge that gathered behind the two-piece ring. Spray down the entire inside of the engine (through the pan opening) with WD-40 and wipe it out with a rag real good. This will allow you to clean 99% of the crankcase.

3, with the oil pan inspection cover still off, put a large pan under the opening (and I mean LARGE) and remove the hogs head inspection door. Pour about two gallons of kerosene through the opening and let it run out the cover opening (and the drain plug). Do this a couple of times. Your transmission and engine will now be pretty clean.

You'll probably find brass rivet heads and brass shavings, and that's mostly ok... but as long as you don't see any broken steel parts or wires flush out with the kerosene, I'd put most of the worry aside and start that sucker up.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 02:15 pm:

Thank you James for your input.

Your steps sound pretty good! Again, to anyone wondering, I don't want to start it right now as I don't have a radiator and some other stuff, etc etc. Id like to make sure nothing is blocked too. What should I be looking for with the heads and valves and such? Right now it is still outside as its heavy and have to get help moving it inside the barn.

Thats a great idea about the oil inspection cover! Could I use anything else instead of kerosene? Diesel might be a little easier to get ahold of but Ive never really looked to buy a few gallons of kerosene :P

Forgot to mention, I have a vaporizer on it currently but will be swapping to the NH carb.

Gary, It is more complete than you would think. Its still mounted on a cut down frame, mounting blocks still there, etc. Of course wiring is pretty much gone and such, but certainly not an engine that was dug up either.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Hand on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 02:28 pm:

Another point, you do not need a radiator just to start the engine!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 02:32 pm:

John
Remove the oil pan cover or if you want to go one step farther remove the whole engine pan and transmission cover and you give the engine a though cleaning.
Get you some degreaser and soak it really well. Then use a pressure washer and clean it up.
This is a great way to learn about the internal parts of a T engine.
After its thourghly dry spray some diesel or kerosene on the internal areas of the engine to lube it up.

If nothing's really noticeable that's broken or bent up put the engine pan and transmission cover back on the engine and transmission assembly.
You could have a decent engine after you start it up.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 03:43 pm:

George, I think I have seen people use a hose with water going directly in it, or do you mean since it won't heat up enough to need it? Doesn't matter as I won't be starting it until I clean it up a bit and by that time ill have one.

Thank you John!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Hand on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 07:12 pm:

John, If you only want to see if it will run.1st lets see if the electrical system will make the coils buzz ? Wire up the 4 wires from the timer to the coil box. Hook up the plug wires to the coil box, the other end to the spark plugs, lay them on top of the engine block with out the wire ends touching metal or grounding. Hook up Voltage to the coil box it can come from any 6v or 12v battery or jumper pack, battery voltage + to the odd terminal on the coil box, battery - to be grounded on the block. If the coils buzz with both sides of a battery source hooked up turn the engine over with the hand crank and see if they will buzz or not buzz, you are looking for 4 buzzes per 2 revolutions of the crankshaft, does not half to be in a specific order now just looking to see if spark gets generated to the plugs. You do not need oil or water at this time !!! I'm under the impression the cylinder head is off. If you are able with your inspection to be able to reassemble the engine then with oil in the crankcase work on the fuel system(this without any battery voltage)you will be looking to get fuel to the cylinders. It is a process that will take some time, also we do not know your level of experience working on internal combustion engines. I'm thinking limited with your thoughts of wanting to paint the engine as specified in your opening post.
Also you indicated a 1927 engine, it should have the coil box mounted on the engine, it must be grounded to the engine block, if not let me know, also I gather that it still has Ford type ignition ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian on Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 11:36 pm:

Uhhh I think it's a ford starter.

All the wiring has desinigrated.

I am going to do some cleaning first and inspections and then run it. I don't have any coils yet either! Gonna pick those up with the rest of the parts I'm getting.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Hand on Friday, September 22, 2017 - 06:57 am:

John , This is starting to sound like a miniature money pit, what were you thinking of doing with the engine if you can get it to run, I would hold off buying to many parts until you have verified what the mechanical condition is.


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